When the Obama administration announced its plan to ease back on deportations of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since childhood a glut of dissent was raised by the political right. Called a violation of immigration law, an illegal amnesty program or an election year ploy to win over Hispanic voters the executive order has rekindled the immigration “problem” in the United States. In some ways the decision could be seen as a partial enactment of the failed DREAM Act which did not pass into law in congress. The other side of the debate supports this policy as the right thing to do. After all, the argument goes, these people were raised in the United States and if they were to be deported they would effectively find themselves in a foreign country, not their homeland, faced with an alien culture and a population that speaks a different language than they do.
Though there has been a certain level of backlash, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, supported the president’s policy in congress this week and announced that further details regarding the policy will be released on August 1, 2012.
The executive order would allow undocumented immigrant under the age of 30 to receive work authorization if they meet a certain set of requirements. Although the requirements may change when further details of the policy are released at the moment they necessitate eligible immigrants either to have a high school diploma, G.E.D., or current enrollment in school. It will also require them to have a spotless criminal record.
Look to this blog for further updates regarding the Obama administration’s executive order in early August.